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USB sound advice.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, so after adding my second GTX 670 I've had to remove my sound card as I have a Maximus Gene V and it doesn't fit anymore frown.gif
I've been looking at USB sound solutions and so far the only thing I've been able to find is a Creative X-FI HD USB which I'm not keen on at all.
I was also looking at the Asus essence one but at £350 is a bit too pricey.

Some background: I use my sound for games, movies and music. Pretty much an all-rounder but would prefer a slightly more music centric set-up
and I'll be using HD 595s which I know don't require a great amount of driving if much at all.

I'm open to buying a USB DAC which I reckon will probably be my only option at this point, it just seems to be a slightly confusing world to get into.
post #2 of 12
Well, I am using the Audioquest Dragonfly for several months now (Got it at release).


http://www.audioquest.com/

http://www.audioquest.com/usb_digital_analog_converter/dragonfly-dac


Can highly recommend it - Drives my 600 Ohm cans perfectly - And when I am on the "go" I just snag it from my rig and use it on the laptop, with the same headset.
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post #3 of 12
FiiO E17 should be the best bet for you, if you don't want to spend too much.
If, for whatever reason you decide to get a higher impedence pair of headphones, you can also get a FiiO E09k to dock the E17 into.

It's really not too bad, considering the price you're gonna be paying for it.

Alternatively, another popular choice is going for a Schiit Magni + Modi combo ($200). The Schiit route is as good as the FiiO's, but they are a lot more barebones as well.
post #4 of 12
You could just use a PCI-E Express x4 To x16 Extension Cable Riser Link I used a pci one to move my sound card a few slots down.

People use these all of the time for folding/bitcoin mining rigs, so it should do just fine for a sound card. Also you can find them online in 1-6 slot sizes, I just linked to the first one I could find, that was cheap


Edited by rafety58 - 3/14/13 at 4:59am
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gomi View Post

Well, I am using the Audioquest Dragonfly for several months now (Got it at release).


http://www.audioquest.com/

http://www.audioquest.com/usb_digital_analog_converter/dragonfly-dac


Can highly recommend it - Drives my 600 Ohm cans perfectly - And when I am on the "go" I just snag it from my rig and use it on the laptop, with the same headset.

That seems a little bit too portable for me but thanks for the recommendation smile.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by benbenkr View Post

FiiO E17 should be the best bet for you, if you don't want to spend too much.
If, for whatever reason you decide to get a higher impedence pair of headphones, you can also get a FiiO E09k to dock the E17 into.

It's really not too bad, considering the price you're gonna be paying for it.

Alternatively, another popular choice is going for a Schiit Magni + Modi combo ($200). The Schiit route is as good as the FiiO's, but they are a lot more barebones as well.

So with the FiiO E17 I can just have it commented via USB and plug my cans directly into it and the USB will keep it charged?
Also, how would you say this performs against something like an internal card like a DX2 or Titanium?
Quote:
Originally Posted by rafety58 View Post

You could just use a PCI-E Express x4 To x16 Extension Cable Riser Link I used a pci one to move my sound card a few slots down.


Not a bad idea but tbh I've been looking for an excuse for a while to try a DAC so I might just pretend I never saw that tongue.gif haha
Edited by Zawarudo - 3/14/13 at 5:00am
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zawarudo View Post

Not a bad idea but tbh I've been looking for an excuse for a while to try a DAC so I might just reptend I never saw that tongue.gif haha
One can never have to many reasons to try new hardware, good luck on a hunt for a new DAC thumb.gif
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post #7 of 12
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
All that seems a bit unnecessary, I'm only wanting to power some 595s not a band lol. I just want a desktop headphone amp
and DAC. I was just looking at

http://schiit.com/news/121112-schiit-intros-99-magni-amp-and-99-modi-dac/

But the Magni doesn't come in 220~240volts frown.gif
post #9 of 12
I had previous experience with the Firestone Audio Fubar 4 USB DAC/Headphone Amp.

Worked perfectly - Just plug the USB into the PC and power it from an outlet.

http://www.amazon.com/Firestone-Audio-Fubar-USB-Headphone/dp/B002XO1VMC

There might be newer versions, but the one I had was perfect and the big volume "knob" was a bliss when gaming in the "dark".

If you want a cheaper alternative I can also recommend:

NuForce Icon uDAC-2 Black Digital Audio Converter.

This one is powered through the USB.

http://www.amazon.com/NuForce-uDAC-2-Black-Digital-Converter/dp/B003Y5FRNS/ref=pd_sim_sbs_e_4
Edited by Gomi - 3/14/13 at 5:48am
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Frozen Kaveri
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post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zawarudo View Post

All that seems a bit unnecessary, I'm only wanting to power some 595s not a band lol. I just want a desktop headphone amp
and DAC. I was just looking at

http://schiit.com/news/121112-schiit-intros-99-magni-amp-and-99-modi-dac/

But the Magni doesn't come in 220~240volts frown.gif
yep that's why i only listed the cheaper ones with at least a headphone amp and a line out to connect your speakers to. the headphone amp built on those should provide you a decent quality since they are made for music playback.
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